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EDITIONS
Wednesday, 10 July, 2002, 13:59 GMT 14:59 UK
Cash crisis threatens heritage sites
Brixton Windmill in London
Almost 4% of listed buildings are at risk
English Heritage says it has only a fraction of the 400m needed to save listed buildings at risk.

Up to 1,500 such buildings in England are currently at risk of collapse after years of neglect, with 94 new cases this year alone, according to the conservation organisation.

Brighton Pier, built in 1814, Durham Castle and St Pancras Chambers, designed by George Gilbert Scott, are among those on its Buildings at Risk List 2002.


These buildings are both our history and our future

Dr Simon Thurley
EH chief executive
It is now looking to local action groups and enterprising individuals to help raise the cash.

The chief executive of English Heritage (EH), Dr Simon Thurley, said: "Buildings at Risk are an invaluable part of our lives and our culture.

"They are not just castles and stately homes but the familiar landmarks, public halls, old pubs and houses that define the character and appearance of our streets.

"Losing these, through neglect and decay, changes the way a town, city or village looks forever and squanders its most valuable assets."

EH has spent 22m in the past five years on buildings listed Grade I or II, which are at risk.

There are 30,469 such buildings, of which 3.7% are at risk.

Van Gogh

A total of 22% of these are deemed to be at ''immediate risk of further rapid deterioration or loss of fabric''.

Buildings which have an uncertain future include Bank Hall in Lancashire, Brixton Windmill in London and Woodhall Colliery in Northumberland.

The Brixton Windmill is the only surviving windmill in inner-city London.

Work began in 1816 and it continued as a working mill until the 1930s.

The artist Van Gogh is reported to have visited the mill when he worked as a missionary, before he became a painter.

Bank Hall is considered to be an important part of local history. Emergency repairs are said to be needed to prevent the tower from collapse.

Community 'heart'

The register is intended to keep attention focused on neglected historic buildings and monuments.

It is designed to define the scale of the problem and to prioritise action by EH, local authorities, building preservation trusts and funding bodies.

In total 114 buildings listed on the 2001 register have been repaired but a further 94 new cases have been added to this year's list.

Dr Thurley said: "These buildings are both our history and our future.

"Repairing and finding new uses for historic buildings in the heart of a community creates local identity and safeguards jobs and housing, boosts local economies and tourism, improves quality of life and protects green-field sites from the need for new development."

See also:

30 Oct 00 | UK
12 Feb 02 | England
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